22 Tips For Writing Thank You Messages

I’ve helped millions of people write thank-you messages with examples of what to write. 

Here are my top tips for writing the best thank-you messages.

Make Your Thank You Message Specific 

Writing A thank You Note - Be Specific - Grateful Child
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My best tip for a meaningful thank-you note is to be specific. This means you should include details about the gift or your reasons for expressing your gratitude.

For example, instead of saying, “Thank you for the gift. I like it.” include a detail or a compliment. This will help your note to feel personalized and sincere. 

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the gift card for my birthday. I will enjoy shopping at Store Name and look forward to picking out a few new shirts for work. You are thoughtful to remember that I love shopping there.

Love,

Heidi

Learn More: The #1 Tip to Writing a Great Thank You Note

Use Your Own Words

Writing A thank You Note Words
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The wording is the most challenging part of writing a thank you note. What you want to say will change based on context. 

Reviewing example thank you messages is a great way to get started. You can check my extensive list of thank you note samples by topic.

Once you find an example you like, modify it to use words you usually use. If you copy an example that uses words you’d never say, the note may feel disjointed to the recipient.  

So, adjust the words to match your own life. You don’t want the person to feel like your note was copied from the Internet. 

Change Up The Adjectives 

Writing A thank You Note - Choosing Adjectives Cinnamon Roll
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Use a thesaurus or search for synonym lists on Pinterest to find words other than “good,” “great,” etc., that you might say in real life. 

If saying thank you so much feels cliché, browse these Thank You So Much Alternatives.

You could also search for synonym cinnamon rolls, a cute activity teachers use to teach synonyms. 

In other words, use tools to be creative and still be yourself when writing a thank-you note.

Use Correct Grammar

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Make sure your grammar is correct. Some people will notice when your grammar isn’t correct, which can distract from your gratitude. 

In the workplace, lousy grammar looks unprofessional.

Fortunately, there are tools we can use to check our grammar!

Please check my thank you note resources for my latest grammar-checking tool recommendation. 

Write a Handwritten Thank You Note

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People are more likely to remember handwritten notes.

Email and text messages are easy. However, most people will appreciate your extra time and effort to handwrite the note.

Most people also like to get something other than bills in the mailbox!

However, it’s not good etiquette to ask for a boss or coworker’s home address at the workplace. Instead, send them a thank-you email when you cannot hand them the note in person. 

Learn More: How To Write A Good Thank You Note

Can You Read The Note?

Writing A thank You Note - Can You Read it
Photo Credit: Heidi Bender | Tons Of Thanks.

When you write a handwritten thank you note, take the time to write it neatly. Handwriting a note takes extra time, so make sure the recipient will be able to read it. 

Try writing slower if you need help with legible handwriting.

Don’t let poor handwriting be an excuse for not writing a thank you note.

Quality Matters

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Be neat. Do not write with a cheap pen that leaves behind inkblobs. 

No one wants to see ink blobs or smears in a thank-you note!

A messy note could overshadow the thank you message. People will remember the mess instead of your gratitude. 

Start Over When Necessary

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Know when to start your note over. For example, crossing out a word can make your note look unprofessional, but it may be acceptable in a note to your mom.

Please review these guidelines to determine if you should start over or keep going when you make a mistake in a handwritten note.

Thank You Note Wording Help

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Review example thank you messages when stumped for the words to write in your note,

Spell Their Name Correctly

Writing A thank You Note - Spelling Names Correctly
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Spell the recipient’s name correctly. For example, is there one or two L’s in their spelling of Michelle?

You want to avoid offending or showing disrespect by not taking the time to learn the correct spelling of someone’s name.

Spelling names correctly is so important that it made my list of thank-you writing mistakes to avoid when thanking your boss. 

Remember to Sign with Your Name

Writing A thank You Note - Remember Your Name
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Do you know why this tip is needed?

It’s because I’ve received a thank you note where the person forgot to sign their name.

I figured out who it was from, but I wondered if someone else wrote it on their behalf. 

Be Prompt 

Writing A thank You Note - Be Prompt
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Send the note promptly, as soon as possible, after receiving the gift. Within a week is a good timeline. 

However, when you receive a large number of gifts at one time, such as a baby shower or wedding, you can take 2-3 weeks to write them all.

I know some people who keep graduation party invitations on their refrigerator until they receive a thank-you note from the graduate!

Better late than never. In most situations, sending a thank-you note late is better than not. However, as Postable points out, when a lot of time has gone by (a year or more), it may feel too awkward to send the thank you notes.

Make Good Thank You Note Writing Habits

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Make thank-you note writing a habit by sending the note within two or three days of receiving a gift every time you receive a gift. 

Or quickly write a thank you note to a coworker within a week of them helping you.

The longer you wait to write a thank-you note, the more likely you are not to write it all. 

My two favorite books on habits are Better Than Before and Atomic Habits.

Be Prepared

Writing A thank You Note - Be Prepared
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Keep a box of thank-you notes on hand. That way, you will be ready when you need to write a note.

If you have a desk at your job, put a box in your desk drawer. 

This is one of my 7 Thank You Note Writing Hacks To Save You Time and Money.

Be Organized When You Have Lots To Write

Writing A thank You Note - Be Organized
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Be organized and have a plan when you have many notes to write at one time.

When a large number of gifts are expected at one time, use a thank you note tracker to keep track of the gifts and who gave them.

Follow this thank you note writing guide to write 50. 100, or more thank you notes without feeling overwhelmed.

One Note Card Instead of Two

Writing A thank You Note - One Note Card For Twins
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If your birthday is close to a holiday where gifts are given, you can write one thank-you note for the birthday gifts and holiday gifts to those that gave you a gift for both! 

Also, if you have twins, they can use the same notecard to write thank-you notes for gifts when both received a gift from the same person for the same occasion (ex., Birthday, Christmas).

I have a twin brother. Growing up, our mom would have us use one note card. So I wrote my note on one side, and my brother put his note on the other side.

Handwrite Their Address

Writing A thank You Note - Handwrite the address
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Handwriting the recipient’s address on the envelope increases the likelihood of it being opened as it will not look like junk mail.

Address labels may be used for the return address label.

How To Get An Address for a Thank You Card

Find Address for Free - Pen on address book
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If you do not know the address of a person for a thank-you note, the easiest way is to ask them for it.

However, other ways exist to find an address to avoid directly asking for it. Read through the 9 Ways To Find an Address

Remember not to ask for the home address of a coworker, boss, or employee.

Choosing the Thank You Card

Writing A thank You Note - Thank You Cards
Photo Credit: Heidi Bender | Tons Of Thanks.

I recommend using a note card that is blank on the inside so that you can write a personal thank you message. 

There are many choices for thank you cards. However, a basic thank-you card with Thank You on the front will work for every occasion.

However, if you want to put in a little extra time, you can read my seven tips for how to choose thank you cards.

Add Stickers to the Envelope 

Writing A thank You Note Envelopes with Cat Stickers
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Use stickers for an informal thank-you note to give the envelopes personality and fun.

I love cat stickers​ on envelopes because cats are my favorite. And I like to believe that the mail carriers smile when they see them. 

Use A Common Card Size

Writing A thank You Note Envelopes
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Use a 4 x 6 inch or 5 x 7 inch card to avoid paying extra postage. A square card or oversized card will cost you more.

For those in the United States, you can check the prices here

Good Intentions 

Writing A thank You Note - Homemade Thank You Card
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“Meaning to send a thank-you note but then not doing it is exactly the same as never thinking to send one — that person is still receiving zero thank you notes.” ― Kelly Williams Brown, Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps.

I have not read this book, but I love the quote and that there is a cat on the book’s front cover. 

I love handwritten thank-you notes. However, if you will never write a handwritten thank you note, consider sending a text message or an email.

Thank You Note Writing Infographics and Guides

Writing A thank You Note Tree Graphic
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Here more resources to help with writing a thank you note. 

Thank You Memes

Thank You Bear Hug Meme
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Thank memes can be sent with a thank you message when writing thank you emails or text messages. 

21 Nice Looking Thank You Memes. Some Are Fun Puns

Like Animals?

Animal Memes - Funny Monkey
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Check out some funny animal memes:

Funny Work Memes

Funny Work Meme - Getting Texts on Vacation
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Are you stuck working during the long weekend? Laugh at some work memes:

Words Can Be Hard for Some

Mispronounced Words
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There are words that I struggle to say correctly. How about you?

Generation X Kid Things

Floppy Disks on Keyboard
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There are things I did as a kid in the 1980s that kids these days don’t do anymore.

Staying Busy When Bored At Work

Women Bored at Work
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When you are bored out of your mind at work, there are things you can do to stay busy!

Author: Heidi Bender

Title: Writer

Expertise: Thank You Notes

Bio:

Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. She aims to help people write thank-you notes by providing examples and tips. She is the author of She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.